Living in a neighborhood where you’re ten minutes from downtown but can still hear the neighborhood roosters crowing, I never thought of myself as a hipster. Being surrounded by an upper echelon of hipsters that can put Portlandia characters to shame, I usually feel pretty square. Sure, I do quite a bit of canning from my very exclusive CSA produce, we are more likely to buy a sixth bike or third longboard than a second car, I’m slowly replacing all of our everyday dishes with local pottery, and I’ve cross-stitched in a brewery, but it wasn’t until I had a little hipster of my own that I’ve realized what I’m passing on.
And I love it.
The perks of being a hipster parent seem endless. Even if you do not self-identify as a hipster (which is actually criteria for being a hipster, so who knows really), the hipster lifestyle can be something any parent can dip into as desired and benefit from.
[Kombucha keeps public transit hipster kids happy.]
You get to hang out in breweries and don’t have to worry about forgetting a sippy cup because your toddler is more interested in kombucha on tap anyway. She’d rather have a LaCroix over juice, so toss one of those in her diaper bag and we’re good to go.
Hipsters love to see little hipsters in the making, so your little ones get smiles at every rally, outdoor concert, and local coffee shop. There’s probably a craft project, box of vintage wooden toys, and at least one feminist themed kids book for them too.
The best hipster restaurants put organic blueberries in front of your kid before you even get their coat off and point out the local children’s author bookcase. The kids’ menu almost looks better than yours and the noodles and pesto or cheese and chicken nuggets are of course freshly made from scratch.
None of the parents think it’s weird that you’re wearing a stocking cap at the playground outside of winter when you didn’t feel like washing your hair. If it’s hand-knitted, expect all the compliments.
All of the co-op grocery stores in town have baskets of free organic and washed fruit for kids as you walk in. Gnawing on a giant apple or pear keeps them and their grabby hands busy usually until checkout.
[Should have known I’d have to share my co-op green smoothie.]
It’s practically uncool to wear makeup and look good for story time or library trips. If your kid is wearing an outfit that matches and anything other than snow boots or rain boots even on warm dry days, it’s assumed you just came from a family photoshoot.
When your city kid really wants to pet some farm animals or horses, you probably know someone versus having to pay admission somewhere.
Make some hipster friends and you’re guaranteed some awesome hand-me-downs and gifts of band tees, eco-friendly crayons, geeky baby books, and homemade diaper rash cream. Loose leaf calming baby bath tea? It’s awesome and we’re stocked.
Do you need a hand-sketched baby portrait, a custom first bike, vintage toys, bedroom mural, or a tattoo of their baby footprint? You’ve probably got a friend or neighbor for that too.
[Preparing her for city chicken raising.]
Are there downsides? Sure. You gotta pick your hipster battles and especially in parenthood, hipster choices need to be in moderation.
Those homemade baby carriers I made, well, sucked. BUT I went to one of the many local baby wearing club meetings and found an economical one we really liked! Plus, we learned how to appreciate the cultures that different carriers originated in by using the correct terms for them respectfully. Hipster double whammy.
I haven’t found a local business that sells eco-friendly diaper pail refills or affordable chemical-free baby sunscreen, so I find myself at Target more than ever. I really had my heart set on biodegradable diapers, but after getting leaked on constantly by every single kind I went name brand conventional and haven’t looked back. Cloth diapers just weren’t feasible living in an apartment with unreliable coin laundry. (Though, I can’t say I was too disappointed about that.)
Obsessed with a good sale and clothes that will last to hopefully hand down to a sibling, my daughter wears A LOT of GAP hoodies. Not very hipster, but oh-so practical in Minnesota.
Sometimes you pack the cooler with hummus, veggies, charcuterie, and strawberry rhubarb bars from homegrown ingredients and go for a swim in the creek. Other times it’s grabbing chicken strips, fries, sodas, and ice cream in the mall food court. Both are great and variety is the spice of life. That probably doesn’t make me very hipster, or it definitely does (depending on your definition).
[Good hipster kid picks the ukulele over the teddy bear in the thrift store.]
Either way, I just know that when my two-year-old daughter’s preferred snacks are fermented anything and dried co-op mangoes, we’re grabbing spicy ginger kombucha (her favorite) on the way to the independent children’s bookstore story time, and our weekend plans include feeding the free-range chickens at the farm we get our CSA from and a kid’s dance party at an art museum, I’m one happy hipster parent.